The systematic search for relevant RCTs was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines [50] (see Fig. 1). PubMed, CINAHL and PEDro were searched with the following search words in the title: myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS, chronic fatigue, post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion, PENE, systemic exertion intolerance disease or SEID. The search was filtered to RCTs published since the year 2000. This literature search was undertaken and reviewed by the second author between February and April 2020 and subsequently repeated by both authors.

Flowchart of study selection

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